Tag Archives: Frederick C. Thomas Jr.

Possible Thomas Family Member

Time for a little mini-history lesson about the Thomas Family to set up this piece of information.

From myself, you have my father, Frederick Clifford Thomas III (b 1941). His father, of course, was Frederick Clifford Thomas Jr. (1918 – 2006), whose father was Frederick Clifford Thomas Sr. (1889 – 1976). Fred Sr.’s father was Horace Luther Thomas (1846 – 1929), a self-taught electrical engineer who spent most of his life in Chittenden County, Vermont.

Horace Luther Thomas

Horace had three brothers and two sisters.  Two of his brothers were Charles Frank Thomas and Warren P. Thomas, whose story I have told previously.  Horace’s parents were Charles H.L. Thomas (I believe the H.L. was probably for Horace Luther, 1821 – 1873), and Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896).  Louisa was from the Pond family that can trace its roots back to the founding of the country with my 9x great-grandfather Robert Pond (1606 – 1637) who was born in Groton, Suffolk, England and who came here to the US with his son Daniel about 1630.  There is an entire book written about the Ponds called “A Genealogical Record of Daniel Pond and His Descendants” by Edward Doubleday Harris.  Fascinating stuff!  I am related to every person in that book… which is a strange feeling.

Charles H. L. Thomas’s parents were James Thomas (1782 – 1863) and Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) who is from another well-documented family from America’s founding.  The Thomases, however, are not so well-documented.  We know James was born about 1782 in Massachusetts and lived in Chazy, NY from at least 1816 to 1835.  He was in Burke, NY in 1850 working as a shoemaker, then was in Burlington, Vermont in 1860 living with two of his sons.  He died sometime after that, probably about 1863.

Recently, I found this:

Elizabeth Thomas Grave in Chazy, NY.


It’s a tombstone for Elizabeth Thomas in Chazy Landing Cemetery, Chazy, NY, the city where James Thomas lived and where most of his sons were born.  It says:

“In memory of Mrs. Elizabeth, Consort of Beriah Thomas who departed this life December 19th 1811 (?) in the 71st year of her age.  A husband and 6 children are left to lament their loss”.

I can’t see the year very well.  Looks like it could either be 1811 or 1814, putting her birth between 1740 and 1743.

I’m struck by the name “Luther Thomas” for her husband.   It seems possible given the name and the town that he could possibly be either James’s father or other relative.

The grave is mentioned here also:


There’s also a Polly Thomas buried there, born in 1798 who is the daughter of Mathew and Tobitha Thomas.

I’m excited that this could be a possible lead to the generation before James.  If you can get back just a little further in New England, you usually find a lot of documentation for people who were alive around the Revolutionary Period.  That would be very helpful to us.




Family Photos… When It Rains, It Pours

Kind of an unprecedented day today in terms of family photos.  Three cousins simultaneously sent me photos today, so I thought I’d just throw them all up here with some brief notes.

The first batch is from John Burrell, who is the son of my grand-aunt Elizabeth “Betty” Forrest.  It’s a photo of John Prescott “Red” Forrest (1923 – 2004) and his mother, Lulu Cairns Coutermarsh (1888 – 1975), which looks like it was taken about 1974, shortly before Lulu’s death:

John Forrest and Lulu Cairns

The next one is my grandfather Fred Thomas Jr (1918-2006) with his sister-in-law, Betty Forrest Marshall.  It looks like John Burrell in her lap, and my father and his two brothers Dick and Dave on my grandfather’s lap.  Probably taken about 1949:

Thomas and Marshall families.

Next is a photo of my grandfather, Fred Thomas Jr. that was sent to me by Tom Forrest.  Looks like it was taken about 1947.  He’s holding a sapling:

Fred Thomas and Sapling

The rest of these were sent to me by Martha “Marti” McDonald Benz, who is the daughter of Grace Thomas, my father’s “Aunt Grace”.  I called Marti out of the blue and she was just amazingly kind to me and very interested in the family history work I’ve been doing.  I’m so glad we connected!

The first photo is of Anna Clifford (1851-1929), which is from a pair of photos with her and her husband Horace Luther Thomas (my 2x great grandfather).

Anna Clifford, about 1910.

The next is of Anna Thomas (1876-1971), her daughter, who later married William McBride.  Anna and her husband Bill took in Aunt Grace after the death of their mother in the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic:

Anna Thomas McBride

Here is Anna and her husband William McBride much later in life.  Probably taken in the mid-1940s:

Anna and William McBride

Finally, here is a picture of Grace Thomas (1916-1999) herself on her wedding day, 11 June 1941.  Grace was the sister of my grandfather, Frederick Thomas Jr.  She married James McDonald (1914-1982).  I’ve been meaning to write more about her, but haven’t managed to get around to it yet.

The photo was taken in front of the family home at 186 Summit Street in Burlington, Vermont.

Grace Thomas McDonald, Wedding Day.

Mildred Jean Forrest

Tom Forrest sent me this photo of my grandmother, Mildred Jean Forrest (1915-2006).  She always went by “Jean” and I didn’t know until I started doing family research that she had been named for her aunt Mildred Nason Cairns.  My father said that she hated the nickname “Millie”, so she went by Jean.

As I’ve said before, I don’t have many memories of my father’s parents.  They came down to Wisconsin to visit on a couple of occasions (once for my High School graduation) and my sister and I went up to Saint Albans, Vermont to spend a week or two with them during summer vacation on at least two occasions.  They also came down for my father’s second wedding.  I remember my grandmother as a somewhat strict but warm woman.  She seemed tall (to me) with white hair.  She used to make us “Fluffernutter” sandwiches if we were good (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on white bread).  She always seemed to be doing housework or cooking in the kitchen.  She was always smiling and laughing at whatever we kids were doing.  If you got hurt, she could handle it.  I have memories of her and my grandfather watching baseball on the living-room TV while they sipped hard-liquor out of glasses on their TV trays.  She always wore house-dresses and sort of orthopedic-style shoes.

I know she was a nurse for the county or state school system for many years and that’s how she met my grandfather. He owned a service station and she brought the car she was given to drive for her job in to his station to be maintained.  He invited her to go horseback riding.  The rest is history.  She and my grandfather lived at 3 Calo Court in Saint Albans basically from sometime in the 40’s until the day they died.  Despite being relatively healthy, my grandfather died only a few months after his wife did.

Here’s the photo.  She looks to be about 16 years old to me.